One of my good friends from university recently pointed me towards a project called Shamsi, and I thought it definitely deserves a feature on our website. The idea is simple and based on the renewable energy model. Third world countries around the world have major issues when it comes to electrical power, and based on their infrastructure and water/sanitation needs, these people are the ones who actually need it the most. Shamsi is trying to promote the idea of a micro-grid network which creates power based on solar energy. These micro power plants will have the ability to power small areas without the requirement of a major investment and infrastructure. More so, the model is based on not just engineering principles, but also economic values, which means the risk is low.
Watch the video below to get an idea:
A brief description in their own words:
“Over 1.3 billion people, or about 20% of the entire population of the world, currently live without access to electricity i.e. no grid connectivity. Another 1 billion have access to the grid, but suffer massive brownouts and blackouts due to supply shortfalls. Lack of access to electricity and other modern energy sources/services presents a major challenge to poverty alleviation. Besides depriving these populations of basic amenities like, lighting, cooling, heating etc., this also contributes adversely to their health. To deliver universal access to electricity by 2030, the World Bank estimates that capital investment of $35-40 billion per year is required, on top of the yearly investment of $450 billion necessary to sustain energy supply at current levels. Enter Shamsi: using ultra-high efficiency, patented High-Concentrated Photo Voltaic (HCPV) technology, we plan to create a micro-grid generation business, which will install small-scale power-plants, capable of meeting power demands at the local level. Unlike most renewable solutions, Shamsi’s solution is market competitive and will supply electricity at least at parity with existing solutions, thereby making it commercially feasible. In most cases we anticipate to produce and supply electricity at a much lower cost than existing sources. Additionally Shamsi’s solution is well suited to work in most of the developing world, including South Asia, Africa and Latin America and other areas with high Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). As most of the people without access to electricity live in developing countries, such massive capital investment is not feasible due to multiple reasons. Firstly, most of these countries have flagging economies, incapable of making such huge investments. Secondly, private entities do not invest in these countries due to the prohibitive risk and cost of debt associated with such investments. The micro-grid model will solve several problems encountered by traditional generation. Firstly, the micro-grid approach of Shamsi will do away with the need for massive financing and individual projects could be financed viably. Secondly, the issue of collections will be solved due to the pre-paid nature of sales. Above all this model would diversify the risk across several projects, thereby reducing the overall risk of the company.”
Now, unlike most Kickstarter pages, where you are actually required to pay some cash, all these guys need is you to help them win through a poll. All it takes is a click, and believe me, a click here could not only mean happiness and prosperity for third world nations, but a successful pilot in those countries would only mean things improve in first world countries as well. As far as I can see, it is a win-win situation!
Here is the link to the poll:
So yeah, click on their project (number 4 on the list), but more importantly, spread the word and get more people to get on this train!